June 11 coronavirus news

By Steve George, Joshua Berlinger, Laura Smith-Spark, Peter Wilkinson, Melissa Macaya, Mike Hayes and Meg Wagner, CNN

Updated 0006 GMT (0806 HKT) June 12, 2020
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5:02 p.m. ET, June 11, 2020

People are sleeping more during Covid-19 pandemic, researchers find 

From CNN’s Naomi Thomas

People in the US and Europe are sleeping more because of the Covid-19 pandemic, according to two new pieces of research published Thursday in the journal Current Biology. 

One study found students were staying up later and sleeping longer. Another found some Europeans were staying in bed about a quarter of an hour longer, on average, since the pandemic.

Kenneth Wright and colleagues of the department of Integrative Physiology at the University of Colorado, Boulder, compared the sleep schedules of 139 university students before and during the pandemic. 

They found students were spending an average of 30 minutes longer sleeping on weekdays and around 24 minutes on weekends. 

Plus, more students were getting the recommended seven or more hours of sleep a night. For weekdays, this number went from 84% to 92%.

Along with sleeping longer, students were also going to bed late about 50 minutes later on average on weekdays and 24 minutes on weekends.

The second study, carried out by Christine Blume at Switzerland’s University of Basel Center for Chronobiology, also found people were sleeping more. 

In this case, the participants who were based in Austria, Germany and Switzerland, were averaging around 13 more minutes of sleep per night. 

Blume suggests that people were working from home and able to get more work done during the day, leaving them more time to sleep.

But Blume and her coauthors found that their respondents were experiencing a decrease in sleep quality. 

To help combat this, Blume suggested that people exercise more and make the most of natural light. 

4:50 p.m. ET, June 11, 2020

Wisconsin governor announces $40 million to hospitals from CARES Act

From CNN's Jaide Garcia 

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers announced in a press conference Thursday that the state will be awarded 40 million dollars in financial assistance to hospitals from the federal CARES Act.  

"In consultation with the Wisconsin Hospital Association," Evers said, "losses and expenses from March, April and May will be eligible for reimbursement if they have not already been reimbursed from other federal programs or insurance...we expect payments to be made the second week in July."

Evers addressed using the state's Medicaid Expansion Program for improving the quality of healthcare across the state to "help address disparate health outcomes for people of color."

4:53 p.m. ET, June 11, 2020

Fauci expresses support for the World Health Organization

From CNN’s Maggie Fox

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, t​estifies before the US Senate Committee in Washington, on March 3.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, t​estifies before the US Senate Committee in Washington, on March 3. Jack Gruber/USA TODAY/Sipa USA

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, expressed support for the World Health Organization Thursday but declined to criticize President Trump’s announcement that he was severing ties with the organization.

“I’ve been dealing with the WHO now for four decades. I have a number of colleagues I have interacted with and continue to. I have a very good relationship with the director general of WHO,” Fauci told the CBC.

“The WHO is an imperfect organization. It certainly has made some missteps but it has also done a lot of good. The world needs a WHO,” added Fauci, who is also a member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force.

“I would hope that we would continue to benefit from what the WHO can do — at the same time that they continue to improve themselves.”

More on this: Last week, US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Robert Redfield said his agency continues to have close collaboration with WHO, despite Trump’s statements. Redfield said during a House Appropriations hearing on the Covid-19 response that the CDC has been working with WHO as recently as the last couple of days.

In the CBC interview, Fauci also declined to say whether he thought the US border with Canada should remain closed.

“I am not an expert on closing and opening borders,” he said. “What you would like to see under any circumstances … would be to see a significant diminution, consistently, in the number of cases, hospitalizations and deaths.”

He said that appeared to be happening but said he was worried about potential recent increases in deaths.

4:47 p.m. ET, June 11, 2020

US stocks have their worst day since March

From CNN’s Anneken Tappe

A view of New York Stock Exchange on Wall Street in lower Manhattan, on June 01.
A view of New York Stock Exchange on Wall Street in lower Manhattan, on June 01. Roy Rochlin/Getty Images

US stocks plummeted on Thursday, recording their worst day since the big coronavirus selloff in March.

Investors were spooked by rising Covid-19 cases across the United States as the country is easing its lockdown restrictions. This comes after the Federal Reserve shared a dire outlook for the economy in Wednesday’s monetary policy update.

Here is where things stood at closing:

  • The Dow closed 1,862 points, or 6.9%, lower. It was its worst day since March 16 in terms of both point and percentage declines. The index fell back below 26,000 points for the first time since the start of the month.
  •  The S&P ended down 5.9%. It was its worst day since March 16. Only one S&P stock – Kroger – closed in positive territory.
  • The Nasdaq Composite, which hit all-time highs on the first three days of the week, closed 5.3% lower. That was its worst one-day drop since March 16. The index finished above 10,000 points for the first time in history Wednesday, but on Thursday it fell back to a level not seen since late May.

Remember: As stocks settle after the trading day, levels might still change slightly.

4:09 p.m. ET, June 11, 2020

White House staff sent email about returning to campus

From CNN's Kaitlan Collins

Andrea Izzotti/Shutterstock
Andrea Izzotti/Shutterstock

White House staff received an email today about making a "gradual" return to campus, according to an email viewed by CNN.

“We are excited to begin the gradual, safe return of staff to the EOP Campus,” the email from the White House management office read, referring to the Executive Office of the President, the agencies in the executive branch that support the President.

It instructed staff to contact their direct supervisors about when they'll return to campus and how. 

"For employees who have been teleworking, each component will incrementally begin to identify employees that should return to the office and when they should return," the email read. "Each component and supervisor has been advised to take into account many considerations that may impact who comes back, including office space, public transit, availability of childcare and staff who have or are taking care fo someone who has underlying health conditions."

Officials who have been working from home will also see changes in their work space, the email cautioned, noting there are physical distancing lines in areas where people congregate, "social distancing signage" and even plexiglass in areas of high traffic.

3:59 p.m. ET, June 11, 2020

Here are the various South Carolina beach towns that have canceled July 4 events

From CNN's Natasha Chen 

People wade in the surf in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, on May 23.
People wade in the surf in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, on May 23. Sean Rayford/Getty Images

A number of South Carolina beach towns have announced cancelations of July 4 events in an effort to prevent large crowds from gathering.

The following events include:

  • Patriots Point has canceled its July 4 fireworks, according its website
  • Folly Beach told CNN the city made a joint decision with the Folly Association of Businesses to cancel its July 4 fireworks
  • Myrtle Beach told CNN its weekly summer fireworks, including for July 4, have been canceled this year, due to coronavirus-related budget issues
  • Isle of Palms said on its website it has canceled its July 4 fireworks and will redirect that budget to offer a one-time hazard pay disbursement for city employees who are working during the pandemic
  • North Charleston tweeted that its fireworks are also canceled and wished everyone a socially distance Independence Day

The Lowcountry in South Carolina has seen a doubling of new daily Covid-19 cases since Memorial Day weekend, according to Rep. Joe Cunningham’s office. 

“I am incredibly concerned with the rise in coronavirus cases across our state, and in the lowcountry particularly. Yesterday, our state epidemiologist said she was more concerned about coronavirus cases now than she ever has been before, and that is something we need to take very seriously," Cunningham, who represents South Carolina’s 1st district from Charleston to Hilton Head, said.

Cunningham said he understands that folks want a return to normalcy, "but we are not anywhere near through this public health crisis yet."

"We must continue to wear masks and practice social distancing – for ourselves, our families, and our neighbors," he added.

3:47 p.m. ET, June 11, 2020

Colorado governor concerned about Covid-19 case spikes in neighboring states  

From CNN's Gregory Lemos 

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis speaks during a news conference in Denver, on June 9.
Colorado Gov. Jared Polis speaks during a news conference in Denver, on June 9. David Zalubowski/AP

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis said that while his state is "in a stable trend," he is concerned about the spike in Covid-19 cases in neighboring Utah and Arizona "because there is a lot of travel back and forth."  

The governor, speaking today during a press conference, said he is also concerned about "the continued gatherings in the streets" and thinks it is likely the state will start to see evidence of "some transmission" in coming days.  

Polis encouraged Coloradans to continue wearing masks and practice social distancing to prevent the state "from backsliding." 

"Masks are really the passport to the Colorado we love," Polis said.  

3:23 p.m. ET, June 11, 2020

More than 113,000 people have died from coronavirus in the US

There are at least 2,011,341 cases of coronavirus in the United States and at least 113,341 people have died in the country from the virus, according to Johns Hopkins University's tally of cases.

On Thursday, Johns Hopkins reported 10,877 new cases and 417 reported deaths. 

The totals includes cases from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and other US territories, as well as repatriated cases. 

2:51 p.m. ET, June 11, 2020

Sean Penn's organization is helping provide Covid-19 testing kits to protesters

From CNN's Jason Kurtz

Sean Penn seen sevent benefiting Australia Wildlife Relief Efforts at Los Angeles Zoo, on March 08.
Sean Penn seen sevent benefiting Australia Wildlife Relief Efforts at Los Angeles Zoo, on March 08. Kevin Winter/Getty Images

As ongoing national protests bring Americans physically closer together, actor and activist Sean Penn is helping to provide Covid-19 testing kits.

"The protesters themselves are that which protects our democracy, so we owe them to protect them, as well," Penn told CNN's Brianna Keilar.

Penn's organization CORE (Community Organized Relief Effort) began by providing tests sites in Los Angeles, and has since moved the model across the county. 

"All of the people that work for CORE, throughout the country, are people from those communities who we train," said Penn, who noted that the fear of another Covid-19 spike on the heels of organized marches is very real.

"The scientists are very worried about that and I certainly am prone to align myself with their concerns," Penn said.

Penn, who started his organization following the 2010 earthquakes in Haiti, sees helping protesters stay healthy as a way of supporting another critical cause.

He said they "hope to see a return on that in the sense that protesters participate, participate at six-feet distance in the lines with masks and that we're able to offer them the assistance that they're offering the greater republic."

As the Trump administration is hesitant to support and promote many of the health measures being encouraged by health experts, the two-time Academy Award winner quickly noted that examples of empowering change occur outside of Washington, DC.

"I think we should see by now that we're not going to get our lead from leadership," said Penn, adding "this is time for citizens to take the lead, and unfortunately in particular citizens of color are taking that lead, and we are looking to support, assist, coordinate with them in every way that is represented by peaceful protest and scientific, fact-based testing."